Before you open your pool for the season or whenever you close it down, you should be aware of a hidden danger. Faulty wiring or damaged electrical cords used to connect electrical equipment near the pool or from the pool lighting can cause the water to become energized. When swimmers come into contact with this “leaked” electrical current in your pool, it can cause loss of muscle control, rapid or irregular heartbeat or even electric shock drowning (ESD).
Electrical shock drowning can occur in treated water. Many pools and spas now feature lighting, digital entertainment systems, automated sensors for maintenance, and other integrated comforts or technologies. The presence of these devices in and around water can increase the risk of injury.
Mild tingling sensations and numbness in the limbs or extremities are the first telltale symptoms of ESD.”
Electricity is extremely dangerous in water and improperly installed, maintained or damaged electrical connectivity can leak electrical current,” says Grayling Love, product line manager at Eaton. “Help protect yourself and your loved ones from ESD by having all electrical equipment used at the pool or spa installed, inspected and regularly maintained by certified electrical contractors who can help you meet the latest electrical codes and standards.”
Electric shock drowning cases have been known to result from electrical current leakages originating from faulty wiring or failing electrical distribution equipment. The use of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupters (ELCIs) near the pool, hot tub or wet spa can significantly help reduce the risk of electric shock drowning while helping water facilities meet electrical codes and safety standards.
These devices are designed to help enhance safety by quickly shutting off power if electrical current leakage is detected.
If you own a pool or spa, contact a certified electrical contractor to install, maintain or replace equipment and assure that your site is up to code. Look for experts with certification specific to water-based systems.
The Eaton Certified Contractor Network (ECCN) can help you locate an Eaton Certified Electrical Contractor who can provide guidance through the most recent codes, standards and safety considerations required for your specific site or project needs.
To help enhance safety and reduce the risk of electrical shock in your pool or spa:
* Remind swimmers and spa users to always pay attention to how they feel in the water.
* Schedule routine electrical maintenance and inspections.
* Don’t enter the water to perform electrical maintenance tasks.
* If any unusual tingling or numbness occurs, avoid contact with metal objects.
* Signal for help without inviting others into the water.